President Xi Jinping meets with British representatives including former UK prime minister Gordon Brown (L, back) in London, Oct 22, 2015.(Photo/Xinhua)
President Xi Jinping thanked the British people on Thursday for their contributions to promoting closer China-UK relations and said he hoped to see that cooperation further strengthened. [Special coverage]
In a meeting with what Xi called "British friends," including Gordon Brown, the former Labour prime minister, Xi said he was open to suggestions on how ties could be further improved.
The president said that during his four-day visit to the UK, China had opted to work with the UK to build a global strategic partnership for the 21st century.
"With the deepening of reform and opening-up, China provides the UK and other countries with more opportunities," Xi said. "The industry exchange between China and the UK will boost the economy in both countries and benefit the Chinese and British people."
He said China hopes to strengthen cooperation with the UK in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, which seeks to reinforce economic and maritime links between Asia and Europe.
Xi said China adheres to peaceful development and advocates equality and friendly cooperation among all countries for common development and prosperity.
"I hope you continue to support the development of China-UK relations," the president said, adding that the relationship has strengthened over the decades, thanks to the efforts of the British people.
In addition to Brown, the gathering was attended by Stephen Perry, chairman of the 48 Group Club, a UK business organization that promotes ties with China.
Speakers at the session acknowledged that China has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in the past 30 years, has achieved great economic improvements, and now plays an important global role.
Xi also was congratulated on his successful visit and was given commitments of support for projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative and the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
The meeting was also attended by Wang Huning, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, and State Councilor Yang Jiechi, who also is director of the Policy Research Office of the CPC Central Committee.